Jammu, Srinagar Can Come Closer By 82 Km: Report

15 April 2008

Jammu: An all-weather alternate Srinagar-Jammu road project, as per a survey, will cut short the distance between the two cities by 82 km and the travel time by two-thirds besides a fuel cost saving of Rs 72 crore a year. The project can be completed in six years and is estimated to cost RS 7,800 crore. The funds can be arranged from foreign direct investment or market barrowing or central and state sharing, sources said. The cost can be recovered in 40 years if it is made a toll road, the report claims. According to the report the traveling time between Jammu and Qazigund will be one-third of the time taken presently. The road distance between Jammu and Srinagar shall be reduced by 82 km and the distance between Jammu and Reasi would be slashed by 28 km. The project is environment-friendly, generation of hazardous smoke would reduce besides the tunnels can be used for passing high voltage power transmission cables and to transport fuel and gas through the pipelines as is done in the West, the report adds. It would be an almost level road, without uphill crusts up to Qazigund, the report claims. Other benefits of this road would be that cost of the Sawalkot Power project will come down with direct short access to Jammu. Similarly many other power and mining projects will benefit from the road. The government proposals of constructing a few mini-hydroelectric projects over Painthal-Tutusan and Chini Nallha can be taken up for execution after availability of this road. Tourism would be a direct beneficiary from the road as many inaccessible health resorts will be connected by the road. The proposed highway from Jammu to Reasi up to Anji river will be 47 km and Reasi to Qazigund will be 95 km. After crossing the Anji Nallah around 5 km will have to be constructed along its left bank and a bridge has to be built across the river to reach Gali village, the report says. At Gali village, a 16 km tunnel is proposed and 13 km from the tunnel end the road shall cross-river Chenab via Sawalkot Dam, it adds. The proposed road will cross over the top of the dam to avoid construction of a bridge over Chenab. However if the highway is to be de-linked from the dam, a 200-metre bridge, which may costs Rs 200 crore, shall be required to cross Chenab, the report said. After crossing the Sawalkot Dam and Tutsun river a 8.5 km tunnel up to Tattapani near sangaldan is proposed. The total length of the proposed road between Jammu and Qazigund shall be approximately 142 km.